2023 Author: Bryan Walter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 22:24
The US Navy Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed a new type of bulletproof glass. This is stated in the message of the NRL. The new bulletproof glass differs from conventional types of bulletproof glass in its lower weight. In addition, it transmits infrared radiation and can be used to protect thermal imagers on board unmanned aerial vehicles.
To produce a new type of bulletproof glass (transparent ceramics, to be exact), US Navy researchers have proposed the use of high-purity spinel. It is a relatively rare mineral that is a mixture of magnesium and aluminum oxides. The hardness of spinel on the Mohs scale, which determines the hardness of minerals by scratching, is 8. For comparison, the hardness of diamond is 10.
According to NRL, the spinel bulletproof glass is not only highly resistant to point shock loads, but also does not change its properties under prolonged exposure to shock waves or salt water. For this reason, such glasses can be used on ships. Researchers see lens protection for laser weapons as another application for spinel glass.
Spinel sintering press
Spinel glass dome
The new bulletproof glass is manufactured by sintering crushed spinel in a special vacuum press. Press working surfaces can have almost any shape. This makes it possible to produce flat bulletproof glass or bulletproof glass in the shape of a sphere. High purity spinel has good optical clarity.
In comparison, conventional bulletproof glass is a composite material in which, as a rule, sheets of conventional tempered glass and plexiglass are glued to each other alternately. At the same time, the more strength is required from the bulletproof glass, the more layers are used in its manufacture and the thicker and heavier the final "transparent armor" is.
The researchers believe that, in general, they have already studied quite well the technology of producing glass from spinel - the work has been carried out for more than ten years. Now it has become possible to introduce the technology into mass production.